Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I repeat -- Oh, Olive...

Caitlin arrived to pick up Olive last night not 5 minutes after I had put her on the cable outside. Olive greeted her "Girl" with the usual enthusiasm, and then ran over toward the back door where we were headed, and was promptly flipping in circles and kicking her little leg out.

We immediately asked her if she had been stung by a bee, and she answered with continued frantic activity. Inside the house we went, and Caitlin inspected her for a stinger...

It's pretty hard to find a stinger on a dog, much less a primarily black dog.

However, when I took a turn, I got lucky and found the stinger still poking into the pad of her little back foot. We carefully removed it, and Olive was relieved.

For a little bit...

And then she started acting funny...restless, but slow...holding her head up funnily...standing still...I said to Caitlin that we need to keep an eye on her. Something didn't seem right.

About that time, she started hurking...and hurking...and hurking. Caitlin scrambled to get her outside while I cleaned up the messes. Soon other...uh, stuff was trying to...uh, exit her body, and by the time Caitlin brought her back up to the house, Olive was going into shock! Her gums and the inside of her lips were as white as her fur, and she was weak, and not standing well.

The call to our vet yielded their answering machine and the number to the Emergency Vets in Bellingham. Cait called there, and described what was going on and it was recommended that we get there ASAP. Cait wanted to drive (I wonder why?) so I had Olive in a towel on my lap. We had barely got on the road when Olive's eyes went glassy, and she wasn't responding to us. Cait asked, "Is she breathing?" I lifted her limp little head and couldn't tell. "We're going to Kulshan. Somebody might still be there." (All this occurred between 5:20 and 5:35.)

Olive started blinking and stirring, so we knew she was "back". We kept jiggling her and checking her blink reflex. The closer we got to the vet, the more response we were getting...She would move her eyes toward the sound when we said her name, and when we carried her into Kulshan, she actually perked up her ears. Thankfully, they were not gone for the day, and graciously took her in.

Dr. Jordan examined her, and was pleased to tell us that her heart and lungs were sounding good, but she was definitely in shock. They took her to the back and gave her injections of cortisone, and Benadryl. They wanted to monitor her for while (yes, please!). It was merely 5:50 when Cait and I sat in the waiting room, knowing Olive was going to be okay, taking deep breaths and resting our rubber knees.

Olive perked up well, and not long after 6 o'clock, we were on our way home -- with instructions on how to administer Benadryl should she continue to need it through the night, and the suggestion that Olive may need to have an epi-pen with her because it was a pretty serious reaction.

What? We have a dog that needs an epi-pen...on a farm where there are 80 hives of bees in residence for one month of the year...

This is going to be fun.

We've done it before...Dillon had an epi-pen with him after a number of increasingly severe bee sting reactions. Fortunately, he could tell us when he had been stung...and where...and he was smart enough not to chase the bees...Can't say the same for Olive.

But at least we know that she has our Number One Dog Rule down: Don't die!

Friday, June 24, 2011

New Stuff...

It seems like not much has been going on around here of late.  We're watching the raspberries grow, and the  road paint truck did come back north and take care of the fog line we were missing -- but I didn't think there was much else to tell you...

Until I thought about is some more...
We had our deck replaced...with that Timber Tech stuff, so no more staining or painting or, in lieu of these activities, watching it slowly rot. It's so nice and clean and perfectly new...and ready for summer. (Please come, summer, please? I want to sit out in the sun on my clean deck...)

The latest batch of experimental raspberry cultivars were planted...Someday I'll have to explain this project to you.

Daisie has started using her 4th leg again...Kindly pretend you see a leash in this picture. Yes, we are doing poorly at following the doctor's instructions...but we do have limits on what she can do -- they're just not the same as the doc's. It's so good to see Daisie become her old self again, though it increases the difficulties with exercise limitations. She'd love to run a bit, and she's interested in playing with toys and people in a way that we haven't seen for a LONG time...which makes me feel very badly for how long she suffered.  And there will still be more suffering as she can't run or play for a while yet...
Yes, she feels so much better, but right now, her "life is crap".

The Farmer brought home his latest toy...uh, equipment, a liquid manure spreader, custom made to fit down the raspberry rows! Part of the big Manure Project, which will not go into practice until next year...Oh! The painful waiting! More on that later...

Olive has learned to be on a cable when she is outside; and she has learned that it is painful to chase birds while on a cable outside. However, she is not deterred.  I fear her neck may become unnaturally long so I limit her time out there. Besides I don't like watching the abrupt turnarounds that result from hitting the end of the tether at a full run...Oh, ouch!

Last, but not least, I got a new coffee pot...well, coffeemaker is more accurate I guess...But I love the the old term coffee pot, or 'put on the coffee pot', or drinking a 'pot of coffee'. This little baby doesn't even make a pot, but I'm still going to use the coffee pot term. Because I can.
I have tired of the messy 'grind & brew', and as The Farmer has eschewed the consumption of coffee, it makes more sense for me to make a cup at a time, rather than a pot, for myself.
And it's cool! I love the little cups of coffee grounds -- they're so cute and you can keep a variety of types and have something different with every cup! And it's SO clean, and I got it on a killer sale, and now I have something more to shop for online, and I LOVE MY COFFEE.

And I'm sure you're all so happy for me, and so glad to know all about it...
But it's BIG for me, and besides what else do I have to talk about what with watching the raspberries grow and all...

Thank you for listening.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Oh, Olive...

             Olive is 6 months old. She has reached the age where you often see in the paper:

6 mo. old puppy, needs room to roam, raised with kids, house-trained, comes with dog house, dishes, leash and toys. Purebred, asking $XXX

Which being interpreted means:
6 mo. old puppy (seems longer than that),
needs room to roam (won't come when called, and has wrecked our yard already),
raised with kids (and they suffered only minor injuries thus far)
house-trained (as long as we are),
comes with dog house, dishes, leash and toys (we want to forget this ever happened),
Purebred, asking $XXX (we dropped a chunk o' change on this and we want to get some of it back).
(But on the other hand if you just take the dog, it will be the end of the damages...)

Now, don't worry...I am not proposing the sale or excommunication of the inimitable Olive Oyl Honcoop...Not at all! The difference for us is that we knew this would happen. We expected these days of weeping and gnashing of teeth -- and I don't mean Olive's tears or teeth!

But I have to say, it does get wearisome sometimes.

Of late, Olive has learned that often when you "COME", the good times end. You may find yourself inside, instead of outside, or in the crate, instead of out of it. Gram might pick you up, when you would rather be fighting someone, or hunting something. Olive is not stupid, unfortunately, so she has imposed her own moratorium on "COMING".

She will not. period. end of sentence.

This tends to be problematic...VERY problematic, and now coupled with her latest obsession, it has become intolerable.

I believe I hear Olive snort-laughing right now...{insert teeth gnashing!}

Her latest obsession is chasing barn swallows around the farm...You know, barn swallows -- those kamikaze birds that love to swoop just past your head, then circle around and do it again...And they LOVE Olive...she's a dream come true because she takes the bait, and follows them wherever they may go...around the back yard, figure eight to the front yard, take an extra loop out over the road...

YES! THE ROAD...Those dastardly little birds are trying to kill my grand-pup!!

And my efforts to save her have provided the neighbors and passers-by not a little entertainment.

The other day, Olive forced her way out into the yard as I tried to block the back door. She immediately zoomed off in pursuit of a swallow, and I ran after her, yelling the futile command: "OLIVE, COME!"

It was as if I didn't exist.

My next tactic was to get between her and the road, so I headed to the side yard, where I frantically tried to head her off...Considering that I was already winded just from yelling, "OLIVE, COME!", it was not the most effective tactic...and I wouldn't win any awards for agility either.

Fortunately, the birds were a bit wary of me and changed course, away from the road...But only momentarily, and then the swooping fiends made the loop out into traffic, as did Olive...

My heart in my throat (and my stomach too, come to think of it, and my lungs were probably squished up there somewhere as well)...I ran to the road waving at a guy in a pick-up truck, wildly motioning at the black and white blur that was Olive. He indicated that he saw my trouble, and slowed down...The bird and Olive completed their sweep out over the road and headed back into the yard. I gratefully waved my relieved thanks to the driver, and turned back just in time to see Olive headed roadward AGAIN...

More frantic motioning and wild waving, and the man in the pick-up came through once more, waiting as Olive and the bird made the swoop back into the yard...Though he was obviously laughing heartily at the scene...

As was my husband who, during this little escapade, was driving back and forth with the tractor and mower. He had the good sense to only smile at me, but I know that when I couldn't see, he was laughing heartily too...{insert gnashing, gnashing of teeth}

And there was still more to laugh about...Though Olive had abandoned her bird-chasing, and was flopped, huffing, on the ground, the moratorium on "COME" was still in place. I did my best to wheedle and cajole -- Daisie even tried to help -- but Olive.would.not.come! She would sidle up close to us, but as soon as I lunged after her, all I caught was a fistful of air...She's so stinkin' fast, and slippery little!

{insert near weeping from frustration}

Finally, I sought help...The chuckling Farmer came by in the tractor one more time and saw his wife, hands on hips, nostrils flaring, wild-eyed, mouthing: "HELP ME!"

And he, knowing what's good for him, did.

Olive would not come to him either, but she adores him and when he went into the house, she figured good things were going to happen there, and she went in.

And she hasn't been out since.

Nor will she be, until the moratorium on "COME" has ended...

Except on the leash, because I am well house-trained. 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Boomerang no more...

Today we are packing up the pickup, a U-haul trailer and a Taurus with all of our youngest son's worldly goods...or at least as many as I can shove out the door before he stops me...and bringing them down to his newly leased apartment in Federal Way...or is it Kent...well, somewhere in the area known as South Seattle.

Our bright feller has acquired a job as the Director of Communications for a King County Councilman. He works everyday in downtown Seattle. He likes that. My kid likes the city...wow...

Anyway, his residence is located in the district for which his boss is the representative. His boss is Pete VonReichbaurer...of "saving the Seahawks for Seattle" fame.

It's a great job. {insert cartwheel} {retraction of previous insertion to avoid -- [insert debilitation]}

Anyway, we're so happy for him! He's a great kid, and I will miss him as I think the boomerang has now stopped...

But he will make a wonderful visitor!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

That's great...That's JUST great...

I've been telling people that we are not expecting a good year for the raspberries, what with our endless winter and all. In fact, just today I responded to a query as to whether the crop looked promising with a strong "nope"...

So tonight at dinner, at our favorite hole-in-the-wall Mexican place, The Farmer gets asked the same question:  "How are the berries doing?"

His answer: "Good! They're coming along, doing well!"

What? They're doing what????

When did THIS happen?

I've been mentally preparing myself for a harvest that was worse than last year's non-stellar crop, and now I hear that it might not happen? And I'm going to have to go back and tell all the people I've talked to that I was wrong...the berries are okay?

Great...just great...Just when you think you've got the whole roller coaster thing figured out, suddenly there's a new thrill to experience...We might just have a good year.

I'm not sure I can handle it...

But I will summon all my powers of flexibility and do my best to rise to the occasion.

My apologies to all those to whom I unwittingly lied...and to you, dear raspberries, for my shocking lack of faith in your abilities to come back.

Just don't make me into a liar again, okay?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen...

Yes, the babies have been born, and we have evidence that things can, indeed, grow in spite of the endless winter we have enjoyed. Hurrah!

We've had enough warmth and sunshine to green up the grown-ups, and get them to start filling out. And enough rain to keep us from mowing between the rows -- jungle!

Sadly, there are some things that just can't be fixed.
Now you know what winter damage looks like...
It's ugly.

We are seeing the promise of harvest...but still waiting for the weather to turn...please?

I know it's riveting reading, this blog where I chronicle watching raspberries grow...
So, in other news:

We got new paint lines on the road! It's hard to see here, but the left one still needs to be repainted.
Apparently they just head south down the road until they run into another county, and then they turn around and do the other side. They should be back in a couple of weeks...

I'll be sure to let you know.

"It's been a quiet week, here in Lake Wobegon..."

About Me

Needing an outlet for various thoughts rattling in my head, I've created two blogs -- One about my real life (leslieisverbose.blogspot.com) and one where I can vent. (leslievents.blogspot.com)